GOP leaders reach grand bargain on nominating candidates for state offices
Lawmakers OK candidates for governor choosing their own running mates
PIERRE — County precinct committeemen and committeewomen’s role in the nomination process for partisan constitutional offices has been preserved by the South Dakota House of Representatives.
But the days of them choosing running-mates for gubernatorial candidates at state conventions are likely over in the Mount Rushmore State.
Lawmakers in the state House this week put to rest — for now — fierce debate within the South Dakota Republican Party over the process by which candidates are chosen for the ballot when they essentially killed a measure to move nominations for attorney general, secretary of state and the public utilities commission to a primary election process.
Right now, candidates for those offices are chosen by political parties via state convention. A contingent of upper-level party officials and lawmakers within the state GOP, though, have been working since last summer to change that after county-level Republican Party delegates upset former Secretary of State Steve Barnett’s re-election bid and nearly tipped the scales on two other contests.